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Mar 2014


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How Strategy & Architecture can Make a Real Business Difference - Webinar By EITAGlobal

Online Event


Overview: This Webinar will focus on the role of an IT Strategy and Architecture (S&A) function, describing how it can give value to the business and how it must interact with other functions both inside and outside IT. It also follows a simple to follow process starting from business goals through to implementation and importantly success measurement in business terms. I am using the name 'Strategy and Architecture (S&A)', but such functions may be called 'Architecture', 'Architecture and Strategy', Strategy Planning' and so on. Of course many such functions are now called 'Enterprise Architecture (EA)' and this warrants some comment. 

EA is the ideal in that it brings together and deals with IT and business architecture as the total architecture, and so infrastructure, that an enterprise requires to successfully execute its business. This particular Webinar only deals with IT architecture for a couple of reasons. Firstly, EA is pretty well covered elsewhere (See Greg Kohl's 'What Does an Effective Enterprise Architecture Program Look Like When Implemented'). Secondly most if not all, of the 'EA' named teams that I have come into contact with are in fact IT architecture teams. I am not saying there aren't good teams out there working at the true enterprise level but I just haven't come across one yet! Although this Webinar deals with IT architecture it will necessarily cover touch points with the business and, if they exist, the business architecture and business process management functions. Creating an effective IT S&A function is required as part of creating an effective IT shop, but it can also be regarded as a necessary step in maturity towards the formation of a real EA function.

The business and IT environment today is highly complex and competitive. The speed at which businesses must respond to market forces is faster than it ever has been. This is not just about product speed to market, although that is obviously critical. In parallel to speed to market, cost efficiencies, quality of product, great customer service and the ability to change quickly are all important business differentiators. CEOs are very aware of these pressures and require that every part of their organization needed to execute their business steps up to the challenge and delivers. I have said elsewhere that having an effective CIO senior management team is critical to meeting this challenge, but just as important is having an effective IT S&A function; the focus of this Webinar. 

So what are the common issues I have come across during my career various assignments? They include: 

  • The CIO and his or her management team are not clear what value the (expensive) S&A function brings to the table.
  • IT are seen by the business as 'behind the game' in providing the ability to support important business initiatives and goals. "We'd better seek outside help"!
  • Many of the IT issues perceived as architectural are not being tackled. Things are not improving.
  • Accountabilities for architecture and design are not clear or not properly understood. This often leads to… a of level friction between the S&A function and the change or development teams. The confusion is usually around the definitions and roles of architecture and design.
  • Lack of clarity as to who are the architecture and design decision makers.
  • S&A functions are seen as over-paid ivory tower idealists (often with good cause!).
  • Nothing is being done about infrastructure complexity and the spiraling cost of ownership.
  • Pure infrastructure projects are always the first to be dropped from the project portfolio. Not seen as important by the business.
  • Architecture roadmaps and their rationale are not properly and consistently communicated.

No single IT shop will exhibit all of these issues (although believe me some come close!) but most I have come into contact with suffer from 4 or 5 of them. This Webinar will show the way to resolving them by discussing the fundamentals of S&A in plain jargon-less English. It is about what an S&A's function is and how to go about it. It is not about specific technologies.

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Introduction and background
  • Some horror stories
  • An overview
  • S&A accountability
  • S&A organization
  • Setting the right S&A
  • Translating S&A into pragmatic solutions architecture, designs and implementations
  • S&A governance & compliance
  • Why business ownership is so important
  • Communication, communication, communication!
  • Measuring S&A success!

Who Will Benefit:

  • CTO & reports
  • VP or Heads of Architecture functions and reports
  • IT Senior Architects
  • Head Of/VP Change or Development
  • Head Of/VP Production or Run Services
  • CIO




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